State v. Heyward

Decision Date07 July 1941
Docket Number15289.
Citation15 S.E.2d 669,197 S.C. 371
PartiesSTATE v. HEYWARD.
CourtSouth Carolina Supreme Court

Joseph Murray, of Columbia, for appellant.

Randolph Murdaugh, Sol., of Hampton, for respondent.

CARTER Justice.

The record discloses the following facts leading up to the killing of Paul B. Cardin, and which are essential to an understanding of the case: That deceased, a rural policeman of Beaufort County, accompanied W. H. Randall, a Magistrate's Constable, to the Seabrook community of Beaufort County, where Mr. Randall was going for the purpose of arresting Willie Heyward for whom Mr. Randall had a warrant charging a misdemeanor; that they took along with them a small negro boy, Paul Middleton; that Willie Heyward and defendant, who were brothers, lived in the same community but in different houses; that deceased and his companions stopped at the home of defendant for the purpose of getting information as to the house in which Willie Heyward lived parking their automobile to the front and side of the house that defendant was at his home when they arrived there; that the two officers got out of the automobile, deceased going to the front door of defendant's home while the constable went to the rear door; that Paul Middleton, who was left in the car, could see the front door and also hear anything that might be said; that the officers had no warrant for the arrest of defendant; that when deceased reached the front door it was opened and a shot gun was fired from the inside of the house by the defendant and the deceased received a load of number four shot in his stomach from which he immediately died. It was also conceded that the homicide occurred about 5 o'clock in the afternoon.

At the spring, 1940, term of the Court of General Sessions defendant was tried before Hon. L. D. Lide on an indictment charging him with the murder of deceased. Upon being arraigned he plead not guilty, and interposed the pleas of self-defense and the defense of the home; and also plead that the killing was both accidental and justifiable. The jury, however convicted him of the crime charged and he was sentenced to death.

Defendant now appeals to this Court, imputing error to the trial Judge (1) in refusing to direct a verdict of not guilty; (2) in failing to charge certain requests to charge; and (3) in not granting his motion for a new trial.

As to the first question: Appellant contends that the trial Judge should have directed a verdict of not guilty as to the charge of murder against him for the reason that "no malice had been proven by the State" but that "to the contrary all of the evidence tended to show and did show that deceased came to his death while in his act of an unlawful invasion of the home of appellant and that appellant had a legal right to defend himself and his home from and against such unlawful invasion thereof."

In the first place, was there an unlawful invasion of appellant's home by deceased? Appellant testified that deceased, without making his identity as an officer known and without hailing and informing appellant of his purpose in being there, came to appellant's front door, with his pistol in his hand, broke open the door and entered the house, all in violation of the statute expressly prohibiting such acts. Testimony for the State, however, is to the effect that when deceased went to appellant's door, he knocked thereon but that he did not open the door or attempt to enter; and that deceased's pistol was in its holster at his side. Under this conflict of testimony, therefore, it was for the jury to say whether there was such an unlawful invasion of appellant's home as would justify him in shooting as he did in defense of himself and of his home.

We will now turn to the decisions of the Court and to the testimony in order to ascertain whether there was any malice shown.

In State v. Gallman, 79 S.C. 229, 60 S.E. 682, 686, the following definition of malice was approved: "It is a wicked condition of the heart. It is a wicked purpose. It is a performed purpose to do a wrongful act, without sufficient legal provocation; and in this case it would be an indication to do a wrongful act which resulted in the death of this man, without sufficient legal provocation, or just excuse, or legal excuse." Also in 29 C.J. 1084: "In its popular sense, the term 'malice' conveys the meaning of hatred, ill-will, or hostility toward another. In its legal sense, however, as it is employed in the description of murder, it does not of necessity import ill-will toward the individual injured, but signifies rather a general malignant recklessness of the lives and safety of others, or a condition of the mind which shows a heart regardless of social duty and fatally bent on mischief; in other words, a malicious killing is where the act is done without legal justification, excuse, or extenuation, and malice has been frequently, substantially so defined as consisting of the intentional doing of a wrongful act toward another without legal justification or excuse."

Appellant testified that after his crop had been finished in the fall of 1925, he went to work for a Mr. Robinson on a State Highway near Yemassee; that at Mr. Robinson's request appellant secured other men to work on the same job; that appellant continued to work until a few days after Christmas when he quit; that while still on that job, he asked Mr. Robinson for $120 which that gentleman owed him for work done at a previous time, but that Mr. Robinson refused to pay him; that after quitting he went to see Mr. Robinson at Yemassee about the money owing him, at which ...

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6 cases
  • Joseph v. State
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • October 14, 2002
    ...because malice is "the intentional doing of a wrongful act toward another without legal justification or excuse." State v. Heyward, 197 S.C. 371, 375, 15 S.E.2d 669, 671 (1941) (emphasis added). "Wilfully" and "intentionally" are synonymous Certainly, the General Assembly did not intend to ......
  • State v. Fennell
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • March 27, 2000
    ...of the crime charged, it matters not whether he killed his intended victim or a third person through mistake." State v. Heyward, 197 S.C. 371, 377, 15 S.E.2d 669, 672 (1941) (affirming murder conviction where defendant testified he mistakenly shot and killed police officer who allegedly bro......
  • State v. Maxey
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • October 30, 1950
    ... ... 789, 791, the court ... upheld this charge to the jury: '[Malice] is implied from ... a wanton and willful act having been done without legal ... provocation.' ...        Many definitions of ... malice may be found in our reports, as will be seen by ... reference to State v. Heyward, 197 S.C. 371, 15 ... S.E.2d 669; State v. Milam, 88 S.C. 127, 70 S.E ... 447; and State v. Gallman, 79 S.C. 229, 60 S.E. 682 ... Malice will of course be presumed from the use of a deadly ... weapon provided it was used in such a manner as to indicate ... an intention to kill. Fortner v ... ...
  • State v. Williams
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • February 28, 2018
    ...criminal intent to kill the intended victim—his mental state of malice—transfers to an unintended victim. See State v. Heyward , 197 S.C. 371, 377, 15 S.E.2d 669, 672 (1941) (affirming murder conviction of a defendant who mistakenly shot and killed a police officer when the defendant believ......
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5 books & journal articles
  • A. Homicide
    • United States
    • The Criminal Law of South Carolina (SCBar) Chapter II Offenses Against the Person
    • Invalid date
    ...defined as consisting of the intentional doing of a wrongful act toward another without legal justification or excuse. State v. Heyward, 197 S.C. 371, 375, 15 S.E.2d 669, 671 (1941). The Court approved of a definition of malice as "the doing of a wrongful act intentionally and without just ......
  • B. Self-defense
    • United States
    • The Criminal Law of South Carolina (SCBar) Chapter VI Defenses
    • Invalid date
    ...74 S.E. 502, 505 (1912)). The recipient of the opprobrious message or threat is not entitled to respond with force, State v. Heyward, 197 S.C. 371, 15 S.E.2d 669 (1941), unless the words are accompanied by threatening acts. State v. Mason, 115 S.C. 214, 105 S.E. 286 (1920). "Words accompani......
  • Chapter 1 Homicide
    • United States
    • SC Crimes: Elements and Defenses (SCBar)
    • Invalid date
    ...defined as consisting of the intentional doing of a wrongful act toward another without legal justification or excuse." State v. Heyward, 15 S.E.2d 669, 671 (S.C. 1941), citing State v. Gallman, 60 S.E. 682, 686 (S.C. 1908) and 29 C.J. 1084 (1922). See also Young v. Catoe, 205 F.3d 750 (4th......
  • A. Mental State
    • United States
    • The Criminal Law of South Carolina (SCBar) Chapter I General Principles of Criminal Law
    • Invalid date
    ...guilty of the crime charged, it matters not whether he killed his intended victim or a third person through mistake." State v. Heyward, 197 S.C. 371, 377, 15 S.E.2d 669, 672 (1941). This result is sometimes described as being a function of the doctrine of "transferred intent" whereby the ac......
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